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Congress this week: Reg burden, patent troll hearings on tap
WASHINGTON (4/8/14)--A Tuesday House committee hearing on regulatory burdens will lead the week for credit unions, but also high on the radar are congressional actions involving patent reform bills. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to complete a mark-up of patent reform legislation and the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee has scheduled a hearing on patent abuses.
On financial institution regulatory issues, the House Financial Services Committee regulatory burden hearing, entitled "Who's in Your Wallet: Examining How Washington Red Tape Impairs Economic Freedom," will feature testimony from:
  • National Credit Union Administration General Counsel Michael McKenna;
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau General Counsel Meredith Fuchs;
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Acting General Counsel Richard Osterman;
  • Federal Reserve Board General Counsel Scott Alvarez; and
  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief Counsel Amy Friend.
Also on Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee plans to mark up the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 (S.1720). CUNA and partners have called on the committee to make improvements to the bill. Patent law abuses will also be on the agenda when the House Energy and Commerce manufacturing and trade subcommittee holds a hearing entitled "Trolling for a Solution: Ending Abusive Patent Demand Letters." (See related story: A details CU reg burden, patent reform concerns for the record.)
Other Tuesday hearings include:
  • A Senate Budget Committee hearing on "Supporting Broad-Based Economic Growth and Fiscal Responsibility through a Fairer Tax Code."; and,
  • A House Appropriations homeland security subcommittee hearing on cybersecurity spending in the 2015 budget.
On Wednesday, the House Financial Services capital markets subcommittee has scheduled a hearing on legislative proposals to enhance capital formation for small companies. And the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday has scheduled a hearing on President Barack Obama's 2015 budget.
The House this week is expected to consider the fiscal 2015 Budget Resolution (H.Con.Res. 96), the Baseline Reform Act of 2013 (H.R. 1871), and the Budget and Accounting Transparency Act of 2014 (H.R. 1872). The Senate is expected to vote on the Emergency Unemployment Benefits Extension Act (H.R. 3979).
Congress recesses for a Spring District Work Session on April 11.


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